I can't believe it, but Mary Berry — queen of British baking, author of more than 70 cookbooks — is utterly and completely wrong about pies.
On the last episode of Britain's Best Home Cook, Mary Berry stunned the world and her fellow judges by asserting that pies should just have pastry lids and not be totally enclosed in pastry.
According to Good Housekeeping UK, host Claudia Winkleman was asking the judges about their favorite pies when Berry let the bomb drop.
"I love chicken pie with bacon in it," Berry said. "And I wouldn't put pastry underneath it, absolutely not."
I do not envy anybody the task of having to disagree with Mary Berry on television, but Berry's fellow judge, chef Dan Doherty of London's famed Duck & Waffle restaurant, looked shocked and decided he had to weigh in.
"Mary, I'm very cautious of disagreeing with you, however I think for a pie to be a pie it needs a base," he said. "Otherwise it's just a stew with a hat."
I agree with Doherty, and with the large proportion of the internet that seems to have just developed a sudden crush on him. (He's right about pies, and he has dimples. I mean, c'mon.)
As far as I am concerned, the bottom crust is the best part of a pie. That's the part that gets nice and chewy and full of all the great pie flavors. I absolutely hate it when I order a pie and it shows up as just a ramekin full of chicken stew with a little round hat of pastry crust on top of it. It's utterly disappointing, like if you bought a book and it was missing the last 10 pages.
U.K. Twitter was similarly shocked, both by the assertion that a chicken pie should not have a bottom crust, and by the fact that Mary Berry appeared to be wrong about something.
Top and bottom... any thing else is a tart or a travesty..— Julie Crumpton #FBPE (@kaleidobrain) May 17, 2018
I love this woman for coining the term "lie pie" to describe a pie that has no bottom or sides.
If it’s just a pastry top then it’s a lie pie - the filing must be totally encased in pastry! Can’t believe people think otherwise— Jane Walmsley (@jwalms61) May 17, 2018
I can't believe I'm saying it either, but Mary Berry is wrong. It doesn't matter if the pie is filled with chicken and bacon, root vegetables, or four and twenty blackbirds — a bottom crust is essential to any pie.
What do you think about pies with no bottom crusts?